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Blog #32: Does lying to your girlfriend actually help her trust you?

Each post is a great fucking adventure

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by in Sex & Dating
June 10, 2019 0 comments

I don’t arrive in Southern California easily. I arrive in Southern California with… difficulty. And hesitation. And an argument.

The Guy is mad because I’m crashing at Alec’s house. Specifically, he doesn’t like it because I told him how the last time I saw Alec, Alec drank too much and said he wanted to sleep with me. Also, The Guy in my life and I are having some trust issues. Our trust issues are sparked by a series of dear Guy’s very poorly-judged white lies, but kindled entirely by mistakes made by the Narcissist before him.

So, The Guy and I argued like this for a few days:

– Why are you staying with him?

– Because it’s totally different to live someone’s life with them than interview them over dinner.

– I wouldn’t have such an issue with it if he hadn’t hit on you before.

– I’m not interested in him AT ALL. If you’re worried, I’ll video-chat you. ANYTIME. You’ll see nothing is going on.

– I trust you, but I don’t trust him.

Finally, I offer to rent a hotel room instead. A hotel, in a lame suburb of SoCal where there aren’t even hotels, because nobody wants to visit.

At this point, The Guy concedes that I should be able to write. And if he’s going to trust me, he needs to start now.

Wonderful.

And, since The Guy is showing me understanding, I remind him he can video call me anytime.

Alec welcomes me at the front of his apartment in sweatpants. I flashback to when he was living with his parents in Northern California, living a simpler life: waking up past noon, casually tutoring, texting dozens of women at once, and getting jacked off at massage parlors.

Alec’s apartment is decorated in the Single-Guy-Costco Aesthetic. I’m estimating 50% of his apartment is from Costco, from his piles of vitamin supplements, to the stacks of protein bars, to the microwave. He has a roomy one-bedroom. He complains about having a queen-sized bed, because he says he’s trying to minimize. Like a true gentleman, he insists I sleep in the bed, and he’ll sleep on the futon. He tells me he “doesn’t spend enough time on the futon” – his friends never visit him in the LA suburbs, so he’s never on it enough.

He does, strangely, own two Playstation controllers.

The far corner of his place is decorated with a set of plastic acupressure mats from the Asian supermarket.

“It’s more effective on your bare skin,” Alec remarks as I lay my shoulders on it.

I opt for the less-effective experience.

Fully clothed, I lie down on the spiky mat. We talk.

Alec is 26 now, and this is his first full-time job. Before, I’d always thought he never shared new ideas because he lacked new experiences. Now, even employed, he’s talking openly about his love life when I ask… but still doesn’t discuss new insights, nor passions, nor any other inner insights. Nor does he ask personal questions.

Except once. He asks me a question about the Narcissistic Ex, who was the type of person to justify cheating on me by pointing out I hadn’t said “thank you” at the start of the meal, only at the finish (while at the same time, never, ever saying “thank you” himself).  

I give Alec the factual, simple version – when suddenly, Alec interrupts, saying I don’t need to tell him.

What?” I’m slightly offended. He’d just said I “don’t talk about myself much.” Now, he cuts me off when I talk about myself?

Either way, I don’t need to tell the story. I let it go.

Im not super offended, though. My Korean-American parents taught me never to “air dirty laundry” or ask people to air theirs. As a kid, this meant that I didn’t ask questions that would draw out personal emotions. This also meant I didn’t connect with the classmates who were raised to pour out all their emotions like they were watering a dying garden.

A self-respecting, independent woman Alec had once wanted to date, half-jokingly said before rejecting him: “You’re boring.”  On the other hand, he’ll flourish if the relationship is action-based.  

To his credit: whatever Alec doesn’t express in words, he will do in his actions. He gives me his bed for the night and takes the hard living room futon, making the excuse it’ll help him wake up early. He pays for dinner at a Thai restaurant, saying I’m one of his first guests to his small suburban town in a full year. He’s spent months sending small-talk texts to women he’s had 1-night stands with, so that they know he sees them as people, not sex objects. Some people just aren’t deep-conversation people. He’s likely one of them.

At the Thai restaurant, Alec interrupts our conversation again. This time, to text.

“Don’t think I’m a scumbag….” he prefaces. “But I told Nina that I’m in a night meeting. I need to stay glued to my phone to reply to her.”

“Yourgirlfriend?”

“Not my girlfriend. The girl I’m talking to.”

“Which one is Nina?”

Nina is one of the women Alec met in the Bay Area a year ago. He must have told me about her, but we both must have assumed at the time they’d never meet again. She’d been visiting for work, from Asia.  

After their first few dates in the Bay, they’d stayed in touch daily over text. Coincidentally, he’d had a trip to Asia planned for later in the year, and they’d met up overseas – the second time, sleeping together. In between, they’d, again, texted daily. Most recently, they’d met up in Australia for the third time – just the two of them for a few weeks – after which he’d started to hope things would work.

Here, the story takes a twist. Just after getting back from Australia, another woman he’d been involved with a year ago – we’ll call her Girl #2 – messaged him to ask if he was single. Apparently, she’d figured out who Nina was, stalked her social media, and told her everything about her history with Alec. While Girl #2 and Alec had only had a 4 dates, there had been 1 night of casual sex just after Nina and Alec’s first date in the Bay.

But why would a random girl from over a year ago suddenly want to destroy your relationship? And how did she know who Nina even was? My questions are Alec’s questions. His best guess is general, but obvious: vigorous social media stalking.  After only 4 dates 1 year ago??? It’s bizarre.  

As a result, just when Nina and Alec should have come closer, they are now struggling. Nina, loyal and conservative, had not seen nor slept with anyone since meeting Alec for the first time. She was devastated to learn he hadn’t done the same.

“It’s good that she knows,” Alec qualifies. “…..But she should have heard it from me, first.”

Agreed.

Now, he describes himself as being “under a lot of scrutiny.” One outcome of this fiasco is that he’s been “forced” to block the other women he’d been involved with from the outset of his involvement with Natalie.

Forced?” I asked.

“Yeah, I was still in touch with this girl in Korea, but I had to block her.”

And, now, here in the Thai restaurant: he’s telling Nina he’s leaving “work.” He’s looking guilty, texting her back as quickly as possible.

I can’t say I blame him for the lie. I got here after several trust arguments with The Guy, who I am going to video call later (of my own free will).

I play it through: The easiest, most virtuous choice would have been for Alec to ban me from his home, so he could avoid lying. The harder, but equally-virtuous choice would have been for him to be honest, letting the arguments kick up and work through it with Nina.

But ultimately, I am benefiting from his decision. I suspect he’s trying to please everyone here. He’s doing his duty to me, a friend, by hosting me. He’s doing his duty to Nina by reassuring her, maybe in a misguided way, that she doesn’t need to worry.

It crosses my mind: without smart phones, Alec and Nina wouldn’t still be dating. They’d have lost touch long ago, without a phone out of their pocket to call and chat for free.

….Without smart phones, Alec also wouldn’t be in this mess.

When we have the world’s population at our fingertips, and a million ways to hide behind a screen, how do we build trust?

In the 21st century, every single action can be fact-checked through a phone locator, a text-message glance, or a screenshot. Believing we’re anonymous on the internet is insane, when our data is being collected right and left.

Back at the apartment, I continue my fully-clothed acupressure experience and call The Guy. I switch to video and Alec chats with him for a moment. Alec is polite and respectful, asking about The Guy’s favorite hobbies, and studying for work, while me and The Guy finish our conversation.

I go to sleep in his bed while he sleeps on the futon.

When he comes back from work, we discuss about an argument he’s had with Natalie this morning. She’d gotten drunk with friends over in Hong Kong, and while he’d texted, he hadn’t called her. I tell him it sounds like she still needs reassurance that he cares. How do we rebuild trust once it has been damaged? I tell him I hope it works out.

He gives me a bro-hug on my way out the door.  And I leave, wondering: 

Is it ever possible to tell a lie in order to build trust?

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Each post is a great fucking adventure

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